AN elderly woman driver had to be released from her car after a mid-afternoon crash saw emergency services rush to a town centre high street.

Witnesses saw the offside of a red Toyota Aygo car mount the pavement last Wednesday after the Dean Forest Railway crossing in the centre of Lydney shortly before 3.30pm.

It continued along Newerne Street for about 20 yards before smashing into a lamppost outside Poppies florist where it span backwards onto the road and collided with a Mercedes car travelling in the other direction, they said.

The driver of the Mercedes 200 had reportedly bought the car that day in Swansea and was driving it to his Bream home when it sustained damage to its driver’s side.

Witnesses rushed to comfort the elderly woman driver of the Aygo, who was then tended to by paramedics and fire crew before being released and taken by ambulance to hospital.

A Gloucestershire Police spokesperson said the woman’s ‘injuries were not thought to be life threatening.’

They added: “Shortly before 3.30pm on Wed- nesday, October 30, we received a report of an incident involving a red Toyota Aygo.

“The driver, a woman in her 80s, was released from the vehicle by the fire service and taken to Gloucestershire Royal Hospital.

“A Mercedes car was slightly damaged in the incident but no-one else was injured.

“Road closures were in place in Lydney town centre to allow emergency crews to work at the scene.”

A woman witness said: “It was lucky no one was on the pavement at the time, as they would have been hit.

“If it had been a normal school day instead of half-term then it doesn’t bear thinking about.

“It all happened at the time children normally come out of school and walk home along the pavement.”

The closure of the street for about an hour caused long tailbacks into and out of Lydney, adding to traffic chaos across the Forest and Wye Valley caused by the day-long closure of the M5 near Quedgeley.

Police had shut the motorway between junctions 11a and 12 after the shock discovery of a body on the carriageway just before 4.10am on Wednesday.

People travelling from the Forest to Gloucester took up to four hours owing to the gridlock, while traffic was also heavy on the A40 from Ross-on-Wye towards Monmouth and along the M50.

The A40 roundabout at Over was jammed for much of the day, and increased traffic on the M50 caused further pressure as the evening rush hour began.

Detectives announced yesterday (Tuesday, November 5) that body found on the M5 was a 66-year-old woman from Gloucester who had been reported missing several hours after the incident was reported.

Her next of kin have been informed. Officers are not treating the death as suspicious and are compiling a report for the coroner.